Sunday, 06 May 2007

IS THE USA REALLY HATED AROUND THE WORLD?

Ken Berwitz

As French voters cast their ballots for President, it seems relatively certain that they will elect Nicholas Sarkozy over Sgelne Royal. (UPDATE :  The votes are in and Sarkozy did, in fact win)

And where do these candidates stand?  Royal is a socialist who makes it clear she will be combative with the USA and Sarkozy makes it clear that she is far more interested in working with us than against us. 

The French election, therefore, is an interesting counterpoint to the assurances we receive almost daily, based on political polls, that the USA is hated around the world - and particularly in places like France. 

In reality, French people, given the clear choice of a pro and anti USA candidate this weekend, are choosing pro USA.  How did THAT happen?  Is it some kind of weird aberration?  Were voters acting out of character?

Well, the truth is that it happens a lot.  Despite what the "I HAVE A POLL" crowd tells you every chance they get.

It would be good to take a moment and reflect on the election of Sarkozy in the context of Tony Blair in the UK, John Howard in Australia, Angela Merkel in Germany Stephen Harper in Canada and Shinzo Abe in Japan.  Every one of these people is the head of state in a major country, who won his/her election by being the most pro USA candidate.

If this were just one or maybe two elections, it would be easy to chalk it up to either happenstance, or that other issues might have been more compelling than relations with the USA.  But it has happened over and over again.  As you can see.

It seems to me that there is an obvious, logical inference to draw from these events:  The political polls which tell us how hated the USA is around the world are either conducted inaccurately or fraudulently.  There are too many voters in too many places taking the opposite view for those polls to be correct.

That's something to remember the next time media feed you this disparaging and clearly incorrect bill of goods.


GUEST COMMENTARY: DEMOCRATIC SCANDALMONGERING

Ken Berwitz

As readers of this blog know, I have talked quite a bit over these past months about the disgracefully one-sided coverage of political corruption in the USA.  Specifically, that corrupt Republicans are nailed, assailed and jailed (good riddance!) while corrupt Democrats are more often than not given a free pass.

I thought you might be interested to read an excellent column on this subject by Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan, from www.townhall.com.  It lays out this ongoing travesty very nicely and is well worth reading:-

Democrats Choose Scandalmongering over Agenda
By Matt Margolis & Mark Noonan
Sunday, May 6, 2007
 

Last week, Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, spoke to the Brookings Institution about corruption in government, using most of his 3,600-plus-word speech to harp on the so-called Republican culture of corruption, while implying Democrats hold the moral high ground on ethics.

After the Democrats won the majority last November, they promised to usher in two things: 1) an ambitious reform agenda of their own and 2) a new era of bipartisanship. Emanuels speech signals his partys abandonment of both promises.



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, accompanied by fellow Democratic Congressional leaders, makes a statement outside the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 2, 2007, following a meeting between President Bush and Congressional leaders to discuss Iraq was funding. From left are, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Md., House Majority Whip James Clyburn of S.C., Pelosi., Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill. and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In the 2006 elections, the Democrats won their majority largely due to their campaign against the so-called Republican culture of corruption in Washington, D.C. Despite a lot of rhetoric about a New Direction For America, over 100 days have passed since their return to the majority, and they have little to boast about.

In fact, there has been very little progress on any of the priorities Democrats laid out in their New Direction For America. Lower gas prices? Stem-cell research? Withdrawal from Iraq? Pension reform? The Democrats have failed to deliver on any of these alleged priorities.

With failure on the legislative front becoming ever more clear, it is no surprise that the Democrats New Direction For America has simply lead them right back to their 2006 campaign strategy of scandal-mongering.

Exit polls last November showed that anger over corruption was a strong motivator for many voters and the GOP bore the brunt of this voter anger. With 41% of voters saying that corruption was a very important issue to them and 59% of such people voting Democrat, the Republicans were crushed by a wave of voter anger about corruption in politics. This explains why Rahm Emanuel did not bother to offer any Democratic proposals to improve education, health care, and the economy or to reduce gas prices, promote stem-cell research, and protect our country from terrorist attacks.

In his speech, Emanuel said, We should never allow the basic functions and solemn responsibilities of government to be subjugated to or take a backseat to politics or party interests. But for Emanuel, the only thing that takes the backseat to politics or his own partys interests is hypocrisy.

As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Rahm Emanuel pressured Republicans to return campaign contributions they received from Tom DeLays political action committee after his indictment, yet refused to return thousands of dollars in contributions made to the DCCC from convicted felons. Meanwhile, Emanuel has his own connections to the corrupt Chicago Mayor Daleys political machine and was elected to congress with the help of city employees helping his campaign while on the clock.

And, despite his venomous rhetoric against lobbyists, Emanuel had employed lobbyist William Singer as his campaign committee treasurer. He quietly let him go for obvious reasons in early 2006.

While the current investigations into Republican congressmen John Doolittle and Rick Renzi have provided Democrats with fresh fodder to re-launch their crusade against the so-called Republican "culture of corruption," Emanuel had no fears of being called a hypocrite for assuming the moral ground over ethics and corruption, because his own ethical transgressions and corrupt connections (and those of his party) have remained under the radar of the national media.

Sadly, the Democrats assuming of the moral high ground on ethics and corruption has not come with any self-appraisal of their role in corrupting politics. In fact, the investigations of Doolittle and Renzi provide a stark contrast between how the two parties handle scandals. Renzi and Doolittle have both resigned from their committee assignments while Democratic congressmen William Jefferson and Alan Mollohan, also under investigation, continue to serve on their respective committees, and have not been pressured by their party leadership to step down. Other recent ethical lapses of Democrats have unfortunately failed to catch the attention of the mainstream media, including Senator Dianne Feinsteins approving of military construction projects to defense contractors largely owned by her husband while she served as chair and ranking member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, a series of questionable land deals of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reids that resulted in huge profits, and a slew of scandals surrounding Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, just to name a few.

The American people need an open, honest, and ethical Congress. But, this cannot be accomplished by demands that only one party rid itself of its corrupt members while allowing the other to not just turn a blind eye to their own corruption, but actually reward corrupt members with plum committee assignments. Democrats, for all their calls for clean government, are unwilling to root out corruption in their own party, and the mainstream media has failed to hold them accountable.

Because corruption in government is a bipartisan problem it requires a bipartisan solution. It is not enough for members of the Democratic Party to give speeches and sermonize against corruption in the Republican Party without showing the faintest interest in leading by example.

As the Democrats re-launch their crusade against the so-called culture of corruption in Washington, D.C. it is time for we, the people to start demanding accountability on both sides of the aisle. The Republicans, punished at the polls this past November, are already far along the path to cleaning their own house. And now that the Democrats are back in power, it is time to give corruption in the Democratic Party its proper notice. 

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There isn't much to add here.  Just a reiteration that corruption has to be uncovered and punished REGARDLESS of party.  That, and the question I ask over and over again:  Where are our "neutral" media?


THIS DAY IN WORLD WAR 11: MAY 6, 1943

Ken Berwitz

Here is a synopsis of what happened in World War II on this day, May 6, 1943-

In Tunisia... The British 5th Corps breaks through the Axis front and advances toward Tunis. The German 15th Panzer Division is destroyed in this new attack that is supported by massive artillery and air bombardment. Farther north, US forces advance on three axes toward Bizerta, Ferryville and Protville. The Free French 19th Corps approaches Pont du Fahs.-

What a terrific day.  We don't see it often in the daily WWII synopsis (which I bring to you from www.onwar.com) but success was everywhere.

How would today's media have treated this good news?  Well, how did they treat the possible death of al-masri earlier this week in Iraq and the more important story (true regardless of whether al-masri is dead) that there is severe fighting between the anti-USA insurgents?    It was given the one-day-and-out treatment. 

The New York Times, in particular, put al-masri's likely demise on page 10 of its news section - but had a front page story about whether NBA referees call more fouls on Black players (based on a study that is not peer reviewed and that is disputed 100% by the NBA).  THAT was more important than the possible death of the leader of al qaeda in Iraq.

Therefore, today's media, if they reported them at all, would have buried these successes inside their news sections.  But, again based on their reportage of Iraq, they would have given us the casualty figures and shown agonized relatives of fallen soldiers, along with any college or street protest against the war they could find.


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